Mitsubishi Colt ClubCab 2.8 TDi

Clever solutions to everyday problems

DaimlerChrysler’s Mitsubishi division has increased the number of popular Colt bakkies in its range by adding four extended cab variants to the mix, while at the same time appealing to a wider audience and giving some buyers – especially farmers - a tax benefit to boot.

 

Although the ClubCab configuration is unique to the South African pick-up market, it is hardly new. In decades past, extended cab models from amongst others Nissan (remember the King Cab?) were quite popular at their time, providing additional storage and seating space for midgets behind the two main seats.

While the ClubCab does not offer additional seating (stick to the double cab) it does allow the safe and secure storage of goods always left in plain sight in a standard bakkie cab (single and double). Where to put the groceries, for instance, or travel junk that constantly builds up in any vehicle, when you want to leave it unattended even for five minutes while running into the bank…?

Mitsubishi has introduced four ClubCab models - two and four-wheel drives with Mitsubishi’s 2.4 four cylinder and 3.0-litre V6 petrol fuel injected petrol engines, as well as a 2.8 TDi diesel with intercooler. In all, this is allows quite a choice, and to top it all, the South African Revenue Service allows the ClubCab to be treated as a single cab for tax purposes.

Introductory prices varied from R160 000 to R199 000, but expect 2002 model year prices to be well over the R200 000 mark for the top models

 

Concept and Styling

The beauty of the ClubCab configuration is that it is so versatile and clever. While it is currently a unique concept in SA, in especially the US just about all bakkie type vehicles are available in single, double and extended cab configurations. So expect more of this in future. Sales volumes are quite high, and no manufacturer can really afford not to take a bite from this slice of the cake.

While the extended cab configuration eats into the load bed of the standard bakkie, for most users the loss of cargo space will really be insignificant as it can still carry a full ton. The added space up front more than makes up, allowing the seats to be moved back just that little further, while the lockable load boxes can take quite a bit of stuff too. To top it all, odds and ends can be stowed on the floor, or on top or next the two boxes.

 

Ambience and ergonomics

The extended cab configuration allows for a much more roomy and airy cabin, certainly feeling less cramped than a standard single cab. In the Colt, the driving position is pretty average, with all instruments and controls placed where one would logically expect them to be. Due to the extended glass areas along the side, visibility is improved upon that of the single cab, but the relatively thick C-pillar restricts the over-the-shoulder view somewhat.

 

Equipment

All ClubCabs come with a high level of standard equipment, even the “base” 2.4 model. The mix includes ABS brakes, alloy wheels with 245/75R15 tyres, sound system (our drive car had the optional front-loading CD), air conditioning, diff lock, alloy wheels, optional leather trim and - the whole point of the exercise - security covered space in the cab. This comprises two durable and lockable polyethylene utility boxes taking up the space between the back of the front seats and the rear window. They can be removed (the seats fold forward) and put on the loadbed to create an even larger, unrestricted storage space in the cab, but then one loses the security convenience inside the cab.

Surprisingly, windows are of the manual variety, while flipping open the rear quarter windows requires something of a stretch.

 

 

Accommodation and Space

The ClubCab is essentially is an extended two-door single cab with space behind the front seats, providing extra security space. Occupants enjoy stretch out comfort, while the larger cab environment just feels like a better place to be when compared to a standard single cab.

 

Ride Integrity and Safety

The ClubCab’s 4x4 suspension is made up of double wishbones with a torsion-bar spring and stabiliser up front, and rigid axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs at the rear. A feature of the entire Mitsubisihi Colt 4x4 range is on-the-fly engagement of four-wheel drive (4H) while the vehicle is moving at speeds of up to 100 km/h. The free-wheel differential engages automatically when four-wheel drive is selected. Coupled with the differential-lock facility, this means that the Mitsubishi Colt 4x4 is extremely versatile in off-road conditions.

For surer and safer braking when carrying a heavy load, all models in the entire Colt range are now fitted with a load-sensing proportional valve (LSVP). This LSPV operates by monitoring vehicle load and regulating the rear brake hydraulic pressure accordingly.

There are no airbags as offered on some locally produced Toyota Hilux models, but a standard roll cage does provide an added feeling of safety in the case of a roll over – not to be discounted in any 4x4 taken off road…

 

Build Integrity

Our drive car had no rattles or squeaks of note. In fact, build quality was good, while owners have the recourse of a 2 year, 100 000 km warranty should they not be satisfied.

 

Performance and economy

We drove the 2.8 litre diesel model with 4x4 drive configuration. This diesel is one of the most highly recommended in its segment for its combination of power  (92 kW at 4 000 r/min and 294 Nm of torque at a mere 2 000 r/min) and performance. While no official performance figures are available, the engine feels nippy and sprightly, largely the result of its intercooler technology, especially low down the rev range, all the while offering consumption figures in the region of 15 litre/100 km, a near-150 km/h top speed and a 20 s 0 – 100 km/h sprint time. And it offers a good combination of grunt for offroad work and freeway cruising abilities, comfortably outrunning most cars on the road once on the move.

 

Conclusion

The ClubCab is a class leader – not because it is the only model in its class (!), but because of its general allround abilities as a pickup, offroad vehicle, comfortable cruiser and carry-all. The additional convenience items are certainly worth the price, not to mention the peace of mind for that five minutes in the bank…

 

 

 
 

 

 

If you do not see a navigation bar with buttons on the left hand side of this page, the chances are that the link you accessed it from is incomplete. To view the entire site, click here....  If you still do not see the frames after clicking the above link, your  browser probably doesn't handle frames and you should consider upgrading

Disclaimer

Copyright © -Digiguides CC 1996-2007

Last changed: November 13, 2008